Jefferson City Today marks the official restructuring of four state agencies, signaling a major milestone in Governor Mike Parson’s plan to improve state government.
Initially announced through a series of Executive Orders issued by Governor Parson in January, the changes represent the most significant reorganization of state government in decades.
“During my State of the State Address in January, I committed to the General Assembly that our administration would fundamentally restructure state government. We are pleased to say today that we have accomplished that goal,” Governor Parson said. “To move our state in the right direction, we had to roll up our sleeves and get to work, and that’s what this day represents. Today, we celebrate this historic moment for our state, our government, and most importantly, our citizens.”
The reorganization moved several divisions from the Department of Economic Development to other state agencies in an effort to create a more focused economic development strategy and be more competitive with neighboring states:
- The Division of Workforce Development and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center moved to the newly named Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (formerly the Department of Higher Education) to establish a single state resource for all postsecondary education options.
- The Division of Energy moved to the Department of Natural Resources.
- The Office of Public Counsel (OPC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) moved to the newly named Department of Commerce and Insurance (formerly the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, and Professional Registration).
- The Missouri Arts Council moved to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
By better aligning certain functions of state government, these changes will streamline operations, increase efficiency, and improve customer service to all Missourians.
“It’s been more than a decade since we evaluated our economic development strategy, and it was time we took a hard look at how we could provide better solutions in our state,” Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said, noting that the Department’s year-long strategy assessment led to a “complete overhaul and new pathway for growth in rural and urban areas.”
“This change gives Missourians a resource for the full range of postsecondary options – from apprenticeships to certificates to doctoral programs,” Commissioner of Higher Education and Workforce Development Zora Mulligan said. “This is consistent with national trends toward recognizing the value of shorter-term, lower-cost programs, and through this bold move, Governor Parson will be positioning Missouri as a thought leader in this area.”
“Returning the Division of Energy to the Department of Natural Resources provides multiple benefits to Missouri businesses, communities, and citizens,” Department of Natural Resources Director Carol Comer said. “The move improves our ability to balance a healthy environment with a healthy economy and allows us to provide a more complete package of services to Missouri communities and residents.”
“Moving the PSC and OPC to the Department of Commerce and Insurance made good strategic sense,” Department of Commerce and Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers said. “We have similar missions and fully understand the regulatory environment. We’re very pleased to welcome our new colleagues to the department.”
“I appreciate Governor Parson’s leadership in ensuring the Department of Economic Development is effectively organized to focus on growing Missouri’s economy, adding employers, and maintaining a top-notch workforce,” Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe said. “I am thrilled to have the Missouri Arts Council as part of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. The arts, in all varieties, are important to Missourians, and I look forward to actively promoting their significance throughout the state.”
In addition to Governor Parson’s Executive Orders, SB 68 also took effect today. Governor Parson signed the bill into law in July, which includes four key pieces of workforce and economic development legislation designed to meet employer needs and help Missouri compete for major business expansions across the state.
To view the Executive Orders, click here.